Photography by Marisa Vitale
It’s no secret us Aussies love a relaxed home. A happy coincidence, we happen to share that passion for laid-back interiors with one very talented designer in sunny Los Angeles. We have a serious affinity for an easygoing lifestyle that parlays into our interiors, so we’ve fallen in love with Natalie Myers’ work that oozes the same appeal.
If you’re familiar with the work of the California-based interior designer, you know all about her signature earthy, mid-century modern designs. Natalie has coined the term “Scandifornian Style” to describe her aesthetic (Scandinavian meets Californian). Her homes are characterized by strong mid-century bones and simplistic Scandinavian vibes paired with organic and vintage elements, an ode to the on-the-go California lifestyle. Lucky for us, she’s sharing everything to achieve her anything-but-stuffy look, from selecting furniture, material, and colour palettes to the no-no’s of mid-century modern design.
We’ve fallen in love with your California-eclectic look. How do you describe your aesthetic?
Natalie: I coined a new term recently to describe it, and it’s “Scandifornian Style”. Borrowing the minimal and natural cues of Nordic and Japanese styles while infusing them with warmer earthy tones that are local to the California desert environment and always adding in thoughtful layers of vintage furnishings and textiles for texture and character. The feeling is mutual because I truly adore the Australian style of modernized indoor-outdoor living. Every time I see a new project that really excites me, of course it’s from an Australian designer!
“Stick to one color story and apply that to all of your selections.”
— NATALIE MYERS
What materials are important for you to incorporate in your designs?
Natalie: Family and pet friendly [designs] are huge drivers for me, along with sustainability. Natural fibers like linen, jute, and wool, and durable materials like leather and wood are a must for any design (and they happen to also be kid and pet friendly).
How do you go about selecting furniture for a project?
Natalie: Figuring out the best sizing and layout of furniture pieces in a scaled floor plan or even marking it out on the floor with painter’s blue tape is a good place to start. Once you know the length and width of a table or a sofa it’s easier to shop for the style you like with the size in mind. So many people fall in love with too small of a sofa or too large of a table style and try to force it into the room. Once you find the style you love in the right size, your options of colors become more limited which is good for avoiding analysis paralysis. Stick to one color story and apply that to all of your selections.
We love your organic approach to mid-century design. What’s the trick to achieving your look?
Natalie: There are many homes in Southern California (and Australia I imagine) that are characterized by mid-century architectural elements. What’s not to love about unfussy lines, floor to ceiling windows, exposed beam ceilings, and indoor-outdoor flow? It’s very much in line with the Scandifornian aesthetic. I find a lot of people trying too hard to make their homes feel authentically mid-century with very bright paint colors like orange, teal, and lime green and overly retro style chrome fixtures that veer to the realm of gaudy. When I get my hands on a mid-century home, I like to tone it all down with light wood floors and wall paneling, white painted walls, glazed ceramic tile, sisal carpeting. I then bring in mid-century materials like brass, walnut, and terrazzo, subtly. A beautiful modern living brass light fixture here, a vintage walnut credenza there, large chip terrazzo tile or countertops. Bright colors can be brought in with accents like pillows and art prints.
Any other tips on your Scandifornian look?
Natalie: I have an ongoing struggle between wanting to see a sea of neutral earthy tones and bright energetic color. I get sick of seeing too much of either! I try to find a balance and vary the ratios from client to client. My work seems to vary from house to house just a little. It sort of takes on a life of its own.
SHOP THE LOOK